Strike a balance
One thing we often run into here at Groove Web Marketing are prospective clients who ask the question, “Do Images Make a difference in Search Rankings”? When a client asks this question, we immediately know that their site is heavy on the images, and more than likely, also light on written text or copy.
While graphics and images are extremely important for people visiting your site and can enhance your search rankings, you cannot rely solely on visuals to help your search rankings…or even convert prospective clients.
Below you’ll find a few reasons why:
- Although Google’s software can recognize the titles and alternate tags associated with your images, they cannot actually see the image itself. In other words, if your picture of Uncle Tony spitting tobacco juice on your little brother is titled as ” Atlanta Area Coffee Shop”, Google cannot tell if the pic represents the title or not. Their software actually thinks that it is a picture of a Coffee Shop in Atlanta. As a result, they will place it in their image search results as if it were a Coffee Shop in Atlanta. You need copy on your site to let Google know what is actually going on. Without it, they cannot tell what your business is about and as a result, cannot trust your site enough to warrant giving it a decent search result.
- Your missing an opportunity to make a value statement to your clients. While pics can be sellers for photographers and some other businesses, most of us need to present our prospective clients with a reason or two as to why they need to contact us. Without a significant amount of sales copy, we are definitely missing the boat. So, even if your site is ranking well, you are probably converting a low percentage of site visitors into actual clients or customers.
A couple of tips for optimizing images:
- Always title your images: If your image is title 47bmj.jpg, Google has no way of knowing what it’s about and as a result, it will not help your over all web presence.
- Steer away from Large File Sizes: Yes, your images should have a decent resolution and not be blurry, but keep it under 500kb. Load speeds can have a negative impact on your search rankings, so use discretion on those file sizes.
- You can use captions on your images: Since Google and the other search engines cannot see the actual subject matter in your image, adding captions are a great way to gain additional search value from them.
- Make sure they are included in your XML sitemap: Wait man, what’s an XML sitemap? Glad you asked, if you don’t know, you may want to touch base with your SEO guy/girl. (If you don’t have an SEO guy or gal, contact us here at Groove Web Marketing) A quick explanation for the laymen/laywomen would be that an XML sitemap is a little map that Google uses to get a quick glance at what your site is about.
Anyway, hope this clarifies a few things for you guys. Would love to hear your feedback, so be sure to drop us some comments on our Facebook page, and if you’re so inclined, be sure to share this article with your business friends.